Optical technology has become a significant part of communication networks. We propose an Optical Interface Message Processor (OPTIMP) that exploits high-bandwidth, parallelism, multi-dimensional capability, and high storage density offered by optics. The most time consuming operations such as switching and routing in communication networks are performed in optical domain in the proposed system. Our design does not suffer from the optical/electrical conversion bottlenecks and can perform switching and routing in the range of Gigabits/s. The proposed design can have significant impact in high-speed communication networks as well as high-speed interconnection networks for parallel computers. The source-destination (S-D) information from a message is first converted to the spatial domain. The routing table stores all S-D codes and the corresponding control codes for the switching module. Using a cylindrical system, the routing table is searched in parallel (single step) and control signals corresponding to the matched S-D row from the table are used to control the switching module. The switching module, based on the SEED array technology, can be reconfigured in GHz range and provide high bandwidth.
Choudhary, Alok; Hariri, Salim; Song, Wang; Banerjee, Partha; and Ranka, Sanjay, "Optical Switching and Routing Architectures for Fiber-optic Computer Communication Networks" (1990). Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Technical Reports. Paper 97.